Articles about "Roger Ailes"

Vanity Fair excerpts Zev Chafets’s biography of Roger Ailes:

For months, Roger Ailes and I had been meeting regularly at Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, at his home in Putnam County, and at public and private gatherings. In that time I got a closer look at Roger Ailes than any journalist who doesn’t work for him ever has. He is plainspoken, wryly profane, caustic, and above all competitive …

[News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch often drops by Ailes’s office to joke and gossip about politics. “Roger and I have a close personal friendship,” he told me. Ailes agrees—up to a point.


Zev Chafets, Vanity Fair book excerpt


Woodward scoop: Murdoch and Fox News chief Ailes tried to get Petraeus to run for president

The Washington Post | Fox News
Bob Woodward reports that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes had a Fox analyst visiting Afghanistan deliver a message to Gen. David Petraeus in 2011 -- that the general should demand to be appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or else resign and run for president.

From Woodward's scoop:

The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. She did so at the end of a 90-minute, unfiltered conversation with Petraeus that touched on the general’s future, his relationship with the media and his political aspirations — or lack thereof. The Washington Post has obtained a digital recording from the meeting, which took place in Petraeus’s office in Kabul.

Roger Ailes tells journalism students: ‘I think you ought to change your major’

The Herald-Sun | News14 | Daily Tar Heel
The Fox News Chairman and CEO spoke to about 350 people, including young journalists, Thursday as part of a special lecture series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He started by telling them to change majors, which, Melody Butts reports, "elicited at least a few eye rolls." Here's what else he said: (more...)

Ailes: ‘If someone offers me a job in June ’13, I may just take it’

Associated Press
It was in February 1996 that Roger Ailes began creating an all-news network to challenge CNN and upstart MSNBC. "It was a risky move," the Fox News chief tells Frazier Moore. "I realized at my age that if I screwed up, or it didn't work, I'd probably never work again. You just don't go out when you're over 55 years of age, have a colossal failure and expect to find work in your field again." Fifteen years ago this Friday -- on Oct. 7, 1996 -- Fox News Channel signed on, and little more than five years later, it topped rival CNN in viewership for a full month, reports Moore. Some highlights from his interview with the 71-year-old Ailes:

Why Fox News Channel has won against its rivals for a decade
"The consistency of our product. I think we do better television than the other guys, and no matter how we do it, they don't seem to catch up. We seem to out-invent them and think ahead of them, and have better story ideas, better graphics, better on-air talent. We just are better television producers."

What the passing years have taught him
"I don't rise to the occasion when there's no occasion. When there is an occasion, I will do what I have to do, and I will win. Is that mellowing? I tend to see it more as picking my battles a little better than I used to. That's probably the best thing I've learned: to save it for when you need it, because when you need it, you have to win."

His thoughts on renewing his contract, which runs out in June of 2013.
"The bad news, is, I just went to my doctor and he said, 'Other than arthritis, your chart reads like a 40-year-old's. You're old, you're fat and you're ugly, but you're not going to die from any of those things immediately.' So if I still feel like this and somebody offers me a job in June of '13, I may just take it."

About a rival anchor
"Wolf Blitzer is an excellent reporter, but he's not a star." With the format of the CNN show calling for Blitzer to highlight visuals on the "news wall" behind him, "he spends half of his time with his back to the camera. I like Wolf. I think he's a good journalist. But I get offended that his back is to the camera."

About one of his talkers
"I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings."


Memo from 1970: ‘A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News’
John Cook found "a remarkable document buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library" that addresses how to circumvent the "prejudices of network news" and deliver "pro-administration" stories to heartland television viewers. (A Romenesko reader points out that the memo was noted in the 1994 book, "SpinControl.")

The memo - called, simply enough, "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" - is included in a 318-page cache of documents detailing [Roger] Ailes' work for both the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations that we obtained from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries. Through his firms REA Productions and Ailes Communications, Inc., Ailes served as paid consultant to both presidents in the 1970s and 1990s, offering detailed and shrewd advice ranging from what ties to wear to how to keep the pressure up on Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the first Gulf War.
The memo explains why television was the way to go:

Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.

Cook says the documents -- drawn mostly from the papers of Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and Bush chief of staff John Sununu -- reveal Ailes to be a tireless television producer and joyful propagandist. "He was a feared figure, known back then for the cut-throat brand of corporate politics that has served him so well at News Corp," writes Cook. But Ailes was essentially fired by Nixon after he was quoted disparaging the president in "The Selling of the President 1968." While Ailes was being shown the door, a memo to Haldeman warned that media strategist could go rogue if he wasn't handled properly.

> 2009: Ailes for president?; "No one knows how to win better"
> 2008: "I don't care what people say about me," says Ailes
> 2007: Ailes says you can thank him for putting Bartiromo on the air
> 2006: Fox News will be fine if I'm run over by a bus today, says Ailes
> 2005: Tina Brown: Nothing distracts Ailes from his business goals
> 2004: Ailes says LAT editor John Carroll owes Fox News an apology
> 2003: Ailes says it's the unfair journos who question Fox's balance
> 2002: NYT says Ailes shouldn't be doing double duty as Bush adviser

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Ailes says it’s ‘fiction’ that he travels with a large security detail

The Daily Beast | Adweek
The Fox News chief also denies Rolling Stone's report about having blast-resistant office windows. Roger Ailes is asked by Howard Kurtz about Rolling Stone's charge that he's "built the most formidable propaganda machine ever seen outside of the Communist bloc." Ailes does a bit of jujitsu, writes Kurtz, accusing NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and the rest of running "a liberal propaganda machine … If they did fair and balanced news, we'd be out of business." || Meanwhile, Michael Wolff claims the Ailes profiles in Rolling Stone and New York fail to capture the essence of the Fox News chairman.

The articles are right in seeing Ailes in a losing position, but only because there is nothing left to win. For both Murdoch and Ailes, the next generation is an inevitable, if also a distracted and uncertain, force—which will show them to the door.

Ailes ought to be a figure of awe, as much as opprobrium. If you don’t get the singularity of the man, you don’t get the man, the likes of whom, for better or worse, we won’t see again.


Ailes wants to elect a president, but he can’t find a candidate

New York Magazine
All the 2012 candidates know that Fox News chief Roger Ailes is a crucial constituency. “You can’t run for the Republican nomination without talking to Roger,” a GOPer tells Gabriel Sherman, who is writing a book on Fox News. “Every single candidate has consulted with Roger.” But he hasn’t found any of them compelling. “He finds flaws in every one,” says a person familiar with his thinking. Another adds: "He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement." || More from Sherman's cover story:

Last week, Ailes turned 71. He’s spending considerable time thinking about his legacy. It bothers him that he’s still regarded as an outsider. “He doesn’t want to be hated,” a GOPer who knows Ailes well said. “It really bothers him. You can’t gross a billion a year and retain an outlaw sensibility forever.”
In the halls of Fox News, people do not want to be caught talking about what will happen to Fox News after the Ailes era. The network continues to be Ailes’s singular vision, and he’s so far declined to name a successor. One possibility in the event Ailes departs when his contract is up in 2013 is that Bill Shine could continue to oversee prime time and Michael Clemente would run the news division. But more than one person described fearing Lord of the Flies–type chaos in the wake of Ailes’s departure, so firm has his grip on power been.

> David Brock: If I take down Fox News, all is forgiven?

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Heritage Foundation honors Ailes for contributions to conservative movement

Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation says Fox News chief Roger Ailes' "lasting legacy to America is a news source stripped of the liberal bias so commonly found among the once-dominant mainstream media" and his network's "fair-shake coverage has made American politics and culture more hospitable to conservative ideas."

Blogger: ‘No big deal’ if my Ailes indictment story isn’t true
The top headline on Barry Ritholtz's blog over the weekend was "Ailes to Be Indicted." He tells Justin Elliott how he got the story -- from a casual conversation at an airport -- and says that "if it's true we'll find out. If it's not, no big deal. We'll see where this goes."
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